STAND. COM. REP. NO. 905
RE: S.R. No. 4
Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi
President of the Senate
Thirtieth State Legislature
Regular Session of 2019
State of Hawaii
Your Committees on Human Services and Judiciary, to which was referred S.R. No. 4 entitled:
"SENATE RESOLUTION URGING THE HAWAII STATE DEPARTMENT OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL TO CONDUCT A STATEWIDE INVESTIGATION OF SEXUAL ABUSE OF MINORS IN THE STATE OF HAWAII BY CLERGY OF THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH,"
beg leave to report as follows:
The purpose and intent of this measure is to urge the Hawaii State Department of the Attorney General to conduct a statewide investigation of sexual abuse of minors in the State of Hawaii by clergy of the Roman Catholic Church.
Your Committees received testimony in support of this measure from The Sex Abuse Treatment Center, Hawaii Women's Coalition, O‘ahu County Committee on Legislative Priorities of the Democratic Party of Hawai‘i, and two individuals. Your Committees received testimony in opposition to this measure from the Roman Catholic Church in the State of Hawaii Diocese of Honolulu.
Your Committees find that court cases and reports across the United States, including in Hawaii, indicate that the Roman Catholic Church engaged in a decades-long pattern of moving clergy who sexually abused children within and between jurisdictions and of hiding, withholding, or otherwise failing to disclose documentation and other evidence of child sexual abuse. A recent Pennsylvania grand jury report detailed the abuse of more than one thousand children by approximately three hundred priests over decades. Sixteen Attorneys General across the United States are investigating sexual abuse by Roman Catholic clergy based on the findings of the Pennsylvania grand jury report. A 2018 report by Jeff Anderson and Associates PA and the Law Office of Mark Gallagher identified at least fifty-eight Catholic clergy members who allegedly committed child sexual abuse in Hawaii.
Your Committees further find that child sexual abuse has severe and devastating physical, emotional, social, and financial consequences for victims, their families, and their communities, which can last throughout a victim's lifetime. As such, your Committees find that the Department of the Attorney General should conduct a statewide investigation of sexual abuse of minors in the State by clergy of the Roman Catholic Church to flush out the offenders and protect Hawaii's children.
As affirmed by the records of votes of the members of your Committees on Human Services and Judiciary that are attached to this report, your Committees concur with the intent and purpose of S.R. No. 4 and recommend that it be referred to your Committee on Ways and Means.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committees on Human Services and Judiciary,
KARL RHOADS, Chair
RUSSELL E. RUDERMAN, Chair